What’s the Difference Between Spagyric Extracts and Herbal Tinctures?
Among the few individuals who know what spagyric extracts are, there are still fewer among them who understand that spagyria differs from herbalism and homeopathy. While both have their benefits as alternatives to trending allopathic medicine, and even depend on similar ancient herbal knowledge, there are crucial differences that determine their usefulness in various scenarios.
History of Herbs: Paracelsus and Hahnemann
Spagyric medicine actually predates homeopathy by about two centuries. The former was first coined by the 16th century Renaissance visionary, Paracelsus, who abided by Hippocrates’ dictum, “like cures like,” as well as old-world herbal knowledge from China, Tibet, and India. Paracelsus espoused the principles of alchemy to work with medicine, dividing a plant into three basic parts:
- Mercury: The water element in which the essence of the plant is carried.
- Salt: The earth element, and the calcined ashes of the plant.
- Sulfur: The fire element and the essential oil of the plant.
Homeopathy’s father, Samuel Hahnemann, abided by the same basic philosophy but differed in execution. His basic herbal extract and that of homeopaths today are simply the Mercurius level of the plant without the minerals and enzymes found in the salt and sulfur levels (and much less work).
Spagyric Liquid Extracts Versus Herbal Tinctures
Herbal tinctures are typically alcoholic extracts of a plant or plants, although some varieties are made with vinegar, glycerol, ether, or some other material. Alcoholic extracts, however, should be avoided as they can damage the integrity of the extracted substance.
Paracelsus and modern-day spagyrics process a plant to retain its botanical properties and nutrients before separating the three parts and extracting nutrients and energies therein before reuniting them. The careful separation, extraction, and reunification process ensure that as much of the plant’s nutrition that can be drawn by modern technology is drawn into the liquid herbal extract. Equally important is the ratio of the said nutrients—which in synchrony allow the plant to live and thrive in nature—that is retained in the spagyric liquid extract.
Both methods of nutrient extraction have their uses, but spagyric extracts are arguably more versatile in their use because they are always non-toxic and gentle. Spagyric extracts are easy to use internally and externally as complementary and natural remedies.
What Are Traditional Spagyric Remedies?
With rising awareness of western medicine’s often dangerous side effects, holistic treatments are quickly gaining popularity. Though still relatively unknown, spagyric technique is something of an amalgamation of homeopathy (diluted substances), phytotherapy (herbal medicine), and modern science’s sterility. It results in the administration of a painstakingly prepared plant formula for physical healing and an understanding of the underlying causes of the ailment for psycho-emotional healing.
Paracelsus, Alchemy, and Spagyric Remedies
Although spagyria draws many principles from Ayurvedic, Chinese, Tibetan, and other millennia-old healing practices, it was first explored in the western world by the Swiss-German Renaissance man, Paracelsus. It was Paracelsus who coined the name spagyric, from the Greek spao, to tear open, and ageiro, to collect. Paracelsus was nothing if not appreciative of nature, and he famously said, “Nature is the first and the biggest alchemist: the transformation of matter is nothing else but life.”
In Paracelsus’ time, spagyric technique coincided with the then-popular alchemy. Contrary to myth, legend, and misconception, alchemy has nothing to do with turning things into gold. The Renaissance man himself said that alchemy’s true purpose was medicine.
Making Spagyric Remedies
In modern practice, the spagyric method relies on the principles of alchemical properties:
- Mercury, or Mercurius, the water element and the extract of the plant which carries its essence.
- Salt, or sal, the earth element and the calcined ashes of the plant.
- Sulfur, the fire element and the essential oil of the plant.
As with the components, there are three basic steps to formulating a spagyric remedy:
Practitioners extract the essential oil of the plant with vapor (or “sulfur”) and ferment the remainder of the plant and extract the “Mercurius” by distilling the alcohol. The “sal” is produced by extracting the mineral components of the plant and then added to (or reunified with) the formula.
Why all this trouble for a bottle of plant essence? This non-toxic plant essence captures a plant’s natural, complete spectrum of properties from more than one angle—usually distillation in alcohol or oil in the form of extracts and essential oils—but rather from three. Many practitioners even perform certain steps in the process during certain planetary and lunar alignments to harness the subtle (but oft-overlooked) influence of cosmic rhythm.
Using Spagyric Remedies
Whether taken internally or applied as an ointment, spagyric essences are gentle, non-toxic remedies that practitioners say can be used complementarily with other methods.
Additionally, the patient is expected to gain a gradual understanding of the underlying causes of the ailment experienced, which are often brought on or magnified by stress and other emotional states in addition to more common culprits like diet and health habits. True to the holistic formula, spagyric remedies promise to be gentle and all-encompassing, beneficial both inside and out.